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The Appliance Care Company Blog

Friday, Jun. 29th 2018

Refrigerators in Garages

Nearly everyone has a need for an extra refrigerator or freezer. And the most convenient place to put the extra fridge is in the garage.

Here’s the problem with doing that: Unless your garage is heated or cooled, the extra refrigerator is not going to run properly.

Back in the 1950s, 60s and even 70s, not every home in the United States had air conditioning, so refrigerators were designed with different Freon, different insulation and could handle extreme heat. Today’s refrigerators are not designed that way.

Today’s refrigerators are designed to be in a room-temperature environment year-round. Units are not designed for extreme heat or extreme cold. It’s a bad idea to have a refrigerator inside of a garage if it’s not climate controlled.

If you want to kill a refrigerator, like big light bills or enjoy seeing the friendly faces of The Appliance Care Company’s technicians, stick a refrigerator in your garage.

Removing Heat

A refrigerator functions using thermodynamics. Basically, refrigerators don’t make your food cold, they remove heat.

In the scorching heat, the refrigerator’s job is to get rid of the heat, but, if your garage is full of heat, if your garage is 100, 110, 120 degrees, the refrigerator can’t get do the job—it can’t get rid of the heat. As a result, your food will not be cold.

When you stick a refrigerator inside of a scalding hot room, such as a garage, the refrigerator attempts to remove heat, but the heat overpowers the refrigerator. When that happens, your energy bill skyrockets, your refrigerator fails prematurely, and you’ve cut the life expectancy of your refrigerator significantly. Our technicians have seen two or three-year-old refrigerators, inside of garages, destroyed because they ran non-stop and could not function properly.

Regulating Temperatures

Just as putting refrigerator in extreme heat causes the unit to function incorrectly, keeping refrigerators in cold also causes your appliance issues. If a refrigerator is placed in a cold garage—30, 20, 15 or 0 degrees Fahrenheit–the refrigerator does not work properly. It sounds illogical, but refrigerators need heat to operate.

Refrigerators need heat to regulate temperatures. Most people put an older refrigerator or a new, affordable refrigerator in the garage. These refrigerators regulate the temperature in the fresh food compartment. By design, the regulated temperature in the fresh food compartment gives the proper temperature to the freezer.

The proper temperature for a refrigerator is 36 degrees Fahrenheit. For a freezer, the proper temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Engineers know when the fresh food compartment’s temperature is 36 or 38 degrees, by default, the freezer is at 0 degrees.

However, if your garage’s temperature is 36, 32 or 30 degrees, and the ambient temperature outside is 36, 32 or 30 degrees–and that’s the proper temperature for the refrigerator–the freezer temperature climbs and your food melts.

The Gladiator

If you want that extra refrigerator space, there is one refrigerator, called The Gladiator and manufactured by Whirlpool, that is specifically designed for the garage. The Gladiator does not mind if the temperature is more than 100 degrees. If your garage is 120 degrees and the proper temperature for the freezer is 0 degrees, The Gladiator is built to handle it. That model has the insulation to be okay in the heat.

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